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Pureka Meets, Greets New Neighbors

Judy Pureka knows something about wanting to feel comfortable in new surroundings. That is why she tries to make New Canaan's newest denizens feel at home as the town's hostess for New Neighbors.

"I know what it's like to move to a strange place, and I have a good rapport with the people I meet," she said.

Pureka, a 30-year resident, has worked with New Neighbors for nearly 15 years, offering a smile and information to get new residents off to a good start. "We try to be as accommodating as possible," she said. "This is more fun, sharing the information I have."

As the New Neighbors hostess, she visits the homes of new residents, bringing maps, train schedules, voter registration forms and information about local businesses. She also has phone numbers of agencies. After spending time with the new residents, Pureka returns with a packet of information on services they wanted to know more about.

"Each packet is customized for each family. If they have teenagers, they don't need preschool information," she said. "The stuff I put in there is the stuff I'd want to have."

Pureka knows about adjusting to new surroundings. She grew up in a military family and relocated every two years. She continued moving frequently as her husband, Paul, worked overseas in international banking.

Although she makes some money from the businesses she promotes, Pureka says she does the hostess work because she loves to meet and greet new people while making them feel at home.

"I do it because it's fun," she said.

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